Step Forward

Background: Palestinian youth have been severely affected by economic barriers in the West Bank, particularly Women. Closure of borders, restrictions on movements, and lack of supplies have contributed to the high rates of unemployment among youth in general, and among females in particular because of the limited access to jobs, livelihood opportunities, access to services, loss of productivity potentials and drop in economic activities. Furthermore, a gap between the skills acquired by young graduates at university and those required by the labor force has led to further unemployment.


Project Summary: Pioneering a new approach to Women's participation in the labor force, this project contributes to the promotion of Women's economic and social rights.Our approach pairs employment skills training and practical experience, in order to increase Women's access to employment, and has shaped our strategic approach towards Women's economic empowerment. This initiative focuses on improving the 'supply' aspect in the labor force, by ensuring that young Women are appropriately skilled for the market. To this end, young Women's employment skills were improved as well as their knowledge of the career options available to them. Furthermore, the intervention helped increase connections between young Women and potential employers. Most importantly, grounded in the findings of this project we have developed a 5-year gender strategy, which worked on informing Sharek's programming until 2021, mainstreaming gender into all of our programmes.


  • 42.8% of Women are unemployed on the contrast to 22.3% of men
  • 48.1% Women with 13+ years of schooling are unemployed
  • 50% of Women in a recent survey believes that institutions prefer hiring males[1]
  • 86% of Women in a recent survey believes that nepotism is vital in getting a job